Fort Calhoun, Blair, Kennard, and Ponca Hills fire and rescue personnel took part in live fire training in a vacant house at 14th and Clark streets Saturday in Fort Calhoun.
The house and property, which was once home to Virginia and Charles Barry, were purchased by Eric Babin, Scott Dippel and Gil Bittner of Northern Hills Ventures. They plan to construct Northern Lights Wedding and Reception Venue on the property.
The house, according to the Washington County Assessor's website, was built in 1953.
Firefighters used it to practice vertical smoke ventilation procedures. They spend the first part of the morning cutting holes in the roof.
Another component of the live fire training exercise was practicing rapid intervention rescue procedures. The training scenario was that while working in a room filled with dense smoke, the floor gives way and a firefighter has fallen into a crawl space below. To extricate the firefighter, a rapid intervention team and support personnel must cut through an exterior wall and floor to find and safely extricate the firefighter.
The firefighters also used the house as an opportunity to practice live fire attack.
Following training, firefighters burned the house to the ground.
A new 7,000 square foot barn-like structure will be built on the property. Inside the building will be two reception rooms for weddings, meetings, graduation parties and other events.